Friday, August 3rd 2007 5:29pm CDT
Categories: Site News
, Toy News
, Site Articles
Posted by: Hotrod
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It has been awhile since our last site article. Our own Counterpunch has posted an insightful article in the toys forum that we thought everyone would enjoy. With out further delay here is Counterpunch's article:
This is an article I wrote, it is themed as a conversation or argument even. Hopefully it sparks some discussion and helps some of the new guys out as they get into the hobby. For those interested, this kind of article may become a regular thing.
Punch: This one’s about the market folks or more specifically the current market for Transformers collecting. We’re going to look at a few trends, traps, and realities of what may be the most stable and profitable (read: Expensive) toy collecting fandom.
Counterpunch: Any discussion of this issue would be completely off base if we did not first separate the market into two distinct and equally treacherous branches: G1 and everything else.
Punch: Agreed. However, in saying ‘everything else’ we aren’t meaning to degrade or somehow put off the non-G1 toys. It’s simply that the realities of the G1 market merit their own side discussion.
Counterpunch: There are basics to all manner of Transformers collecting that we are going to first and foremost agree on. There are three cardinal rules where if we and more importantly you can’t accept, you should just quit reading right now.
1. Pay to play. Don’t kid yourself, ever. Pound for pound, collecting Transformers is about banking money and understanding that you are going to pay early, often, and in considerable sums.
2. Prices do not ‘go down’. Unlike StarWars or other collectable where technology consistently improves and the toys are actually better than they were 20+ years ago; Transformers only becomes different. Sure, articulation improves, but essentially, a car is still going to unfold into a robot. Even the oldest Transformers toys are no where near as time dated as the 1990’s Star Wars stuff. So, Transformers fans never have to ‘upgrade’ a character. Where as a 1990’s Luke Skywalker is a retarded hunk of plastic compared with an SA version.
Punch: and third:
3. Quantities are limited. As for some of the mass-produced figures like Classics Starscream or Energon Tidalwave…where are they? Shouldn’t these be on the shelf when we want them? Why am I literally battling Wal-Mart to find Cybertron Wingsaber? The popularity of Transformer combined with you, me, kids, and sweaty fan-boi #7 really ensures that toys do not linger on the shelves. (Though Energon Ironhide is a note worthy exception. ‘F’ that toy, right?)
Counterpunch: So we’re in agreement then?
Punch: Most certainly. I think we should dive right into the vintage market and address this issue up front. This of course means tackling the big issue, the elephant in the room per se.
Counterpunch: The movie?
Punch: The movie and its relevance to the vintage market is very, very important. What we’re seeing is not even a gradual assault on the formerly stable vintage market. We’re seeing a bump in prices which approaches 30% in most areas. The movie has awakened hordes of former fans who now want a piece of the action. They are older (about 25-30), have jobs, and are willing to drop some cash to reclaim their childhood.
Counterpunch: I agree with you that the movie is the driving factor here. I am not entirely sure it is purely Gen-Xers that are fueling this though. Sellers are doing their part as well. Looking through eBay of late reveals that many vintage figures are simply placed online with considerably higher BuyItNow prices than they were drawing even a year ago. The marketplace is taking advantage of the movie fervor by upping the cost of entry into the collecting game.
Punch: I will concede that even the dealer room of BotCon this year was very difficult to find a deal of any kind in.
Counterpunch: And I can concede that there really are more people out there to snatch up any deals that do lend themselves to the market at any given time.
Punch: At any rate, the vintage market is a tough sea to navigate properly. Remember when the reissues were announced and everyone thought that the values of those reissued toys would crash?
Counterpunch: Indeed and it never played out that way at all.
Punch: Exactly, this all goes to support my demand side for this discussion. The demand from the growing fan-base is enough to support even several rounds of reissues.
Counterpunch: Touché good sir. You are indeed a scholar and a gentleman. All things considered, the vintage market remains a solid investment. It follows the 3 rules perfectly. Prices are prohibitive, even in the best situation you aren’t going to find ‘deals’ which means the market is steady and people recognize the worth of the toys they have.
Punch: Right, and to further this, Prices do not go down. We already mentioned the reissue, issue. The market is varied enough (incorporating both ‘true’ vintage, read: originals, and character vintage, where the figure, not the date, is important).
Counterpunch: And lastly, quantities are limited and more limited every year. G1 figures break and degrade into uselessness more so every year. If you don’t believe this, go out and try to hunt down a good condition Vroom. If that proves too difficult, go with Jetfire. Approaching 25 years in age for most of these toys means they are becoming real antiques.
Punch: So we move on now to the Post-G1 era. This will encompass everything from G2 through Classics (Beast Wars/Machines, RiD, Armada, Energon, Cybertron, you name it)
Counterpunch: If you had asked me about the value of these toys a year ago, two years ago, I would have pointed to the wasteland known as eBay as proof that these toys just do not have or hold value.
Punch: Now in retrospect, that would make you an ass.
Counterpunch: Indeed it would.
Punch: Something has happened to this side of the market and no one can really point to a time or event that was the catalyst. Even the movie can’t really claim credit for this one.
Counterpunch: I first notices the trend at Christmas a year or so ago when several people were commenting that they were having trouble finding Cybertron Leobreaker on eBay for a reasonable price. My disbelief was considerable especially since the toy had been so absurdly plentiful not long before.
Punch: Before we continue, be assured that there is an argument about to develop in this discussion, we’re not all sunshine and lollipops on this issue at all.
Counterpunch: Right, but we have to agree that there are many, many figures that have been released over the past few years which are now seeing close to 100% increases in their value on the secondary market. Noteworthy mentions include the aforementioned Leobreaker- $50, Brave Maximus $250-$350, Classics Starscream- $25, Armada Starscream $40+?, Energon Omega Sentinel- $65-100, BW Rattrap (75$ F’ing dollars for a basic?!?), Alternator Camshaft, Swerve, Decepticharge, Mirage…- More $$ than they should be…. and so forth.
Punch: That we do. I’ve seen Universe Tankor and Obsidian sell for upwards of $35-40 on eBay. Those are horrible toys people and you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
Counterpunch: So, we’re left with a choice; to pay now, or to pay later. Many collectors have taken up the mantra: If I find it, I buy it. I subscribe whole-heartedly to this concept. It’s much better to pay retail on sight than it is to suck it up and pay (grudgingly) 2-3x the MSRP on eBay.
Punch: On the other and potentially more intelligent hand, I can not remember a line in recent history that has NOT gone to clearance at sometime or another. Maybe there are 3-5 figures in a given line that will perform very well on eBay and the secondary market. That leaves 30-40 figures that will not increase instantly. The real incentive and smart, practical move for any collector (or completionist) is to wait out these deals. What you will save over time, should be considerably more than the premium you may or may not pay on those hard to find figures.
Counterpunch: As compelling an argument as that is, it ignores our firmly established Rule #1: Pay to Play. For that matter, it basically ignores Rule #2 as well. If prices will not go down, they can really only go up.
Punch: You should realize that those rules apply to the long-term for collecting. It’s taken Energon up until now to see those realized values for the toys. In the short term, playing the retail market to its fullest can help keep the frugal collector afloat. Keeping with Energon, there were a lot of people who were able to acquire the majority of the line after the Christmas season it ended and all on clearance prices.
Counterpunch: That’s a great single instance you pointed out there. It did not happen in Armada, Cybertron, or Classics. For that matter, good luck finding Titaniums or Alternators from the first wave or two 3-4 months after release (which people never did). Mass market lines have the potential to provide excellent clearance prices under the right circumstances, all I am cautioning people on, is that in no way should you make a strategy of that when looking to acquire a line or even a specifically popular figure, otherwise, you end up paying $40 for Energon Tidalwave like an ass (of which the author of this article is guilty, but would like to redeem himself by saying that he bought Alternator Swerve on sight just because he’d ‘probably never see it again’)
Punch: Fair enough, since you were able to concede the G1 analysis to me, I can let this one go to you. Despite all the ranting and venomous assaults on the quality and design of the new age of Transformers toys, they have been undeniably popular. While I can’t understand exactly just who out there is buying these things, they are leaving the shelves.
We either pound the pavement, in search of these toys as they hit, or we fume on eBay in vain attempts to not fund ‘scalpers’ as we try to get the best deal on the latest figure. The ‘wave’ release system has gone a long way to almost demanding our presence in stores to hunt down the latest figures. Recent trends have shown that the cost of not being up to date on what is available and when will literally cost us in the long run. On the other hand, there is a whole lot of satisfaction in buying a $20 figure, only to see it approaching 40-60 dollars on eBay in a year or so.
The vintage G1 market is and has always been a bed rock of collecting. In almost no instance will your investment in these toys, over time, see you at a loss. It’s a hard market to deal in, because condition, completeness, and availability are all demons that will haunt you as you collect. Prices are rising for these toys for a variety of reasons and kind of like the housing boom, these reasons will most certainly cause a permanent increase in value no matter how much we’d still like to find affordable G1 Wheeljacks at $60 (Try the $100-120 range for a nice C9 version…)
Good luck to you in your hunting endeavors. Just know that whatever figure you are looking for in Wal-Mart, I’m there snatching up before you at the butt-crack of dawn and when you get sniped for that G1 figure you really wanted on eBay, well, check back with Rule #1.
Thursday, August 2nd 2007 5:47pm CDT
Categories: Live Action Movie News
, Toy News
, Store News
Posted by: Tigertrack
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We've all seen the news reported that Target is supposed to be doing a TOY SECTION reset this weekend. Many of us are hoping that this means new stock of movie deluxes that have become rather rare at retail, and making it nearly impossible to find Concept Camaro Bumblebee, and others.
Well a source has stated that this list was posted in an employee section of TARGET with supposed future restock dates of different size classes of Transformers Toys.
087-06-0951 Movie Deluxe 10/14
087-06-1021 Movie Voyager 10/28
087-06-1041 Movie Leader 10/14
087-06-1063 Fast Action Battlers 11/4
087-06-1177 Cyber Stompin' Robot 10/7
087-06-1886 Ultimate Bumblebee 8/19
Does this mean that there will not be any peg filling reset this weekend, or that perhaps new waves will be held back until the given dates? There is no wave information given and I would say to make sure to take this RUMOR with a grain of salt.
It would seem these dates are not too firm, because more and more sitings of Ultimate Bumblebee being found at Target have been popping up
and we have been told that he is an endcap item with the new toy section reset.
If any of our community TARGET employees could confirm or deny this, we would really appreciate more information, if possible.
View the original story here
Please keep an eye on the Seibertron.com Toy News Section
for more word on whether this means anything, or is simply a confused employee.